Twitch had a good 2020. Events were virtual; people stayed inside. The live-streaming site managed to clock 17 billion hours watched last year, which is a full 83 percent higher than 2019’s 9 billion, according to the latest report from StreamElements and Arsenal.gg. The jump wasn’t limited to Twitch; Facebook Gaming and YouTube Gaming also posted their best numbers ever last year.
“Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook all experienced major jumps in viewership traffic, which includes Twitch hitting 3 back-to-back milestones from October to December to end with a record high of 1.7B hours watched in that final month,” writes Doron Nir, CEO of StreamElements. For YouTube, that meant 10 billion watch hours in 2020; Facebook Gaming hit 3.59 billion, a jump of 166 percent.
The pandemic gave live-streaming its best year ever. Streamers became household names and made waves in the press. The barriers between gaming and the rest of the internet seemed to break open, especially with the runaway success of games like Fall Guys and, crucially, Among Us (though neither game broke into Twitch’s top 10 most-watched list by the end of the year).
Probably the most important streaming moment last year happened when Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) joined some of the stars in Twitch’s firmament to play some cheeky games of Among Us. Her stream broke site-wide records: Ocasio-Cortez peaked at 435,000 viewers, which is good enough for the fifth largest individual stream of all time on Twitch. It’ll be exciting to see what happens to streaming in 2021.